The ground is muddy in spots and, at one end, slopes down steeply to a creek where a big, faded plastic boat that most people would have thrown away is wedged into the bank. The center of the playground is dominated by a high pile of tires....It's an eyesore. It's low class. And also kids will get hurt, which I'm sure is the socially acceptable complaint.
[S]omeone has already started a fire in the tin drum in the corner, perhaps because it’s late fall and wet-cold, or more likely because the kids here love to start fires.... Nearby... a stack of filthy mattresses... large structures made up of wooden pallets stacked on top of one another... a frayed rope swing that carries you over the creek and deposits you on the other side, if you can make it that far (otherwise it deposits you in the creek).... the kids seem excited by a walker that was donated by one of the elderly neighbors...
March 21, 2014
"A preoccupation with safety has stripped childhood of independence, risk taking, and discovery—without making it safer."
That's the subhead of a new Atlantic article by Hanna Rosin — head: "The Overprotected Kid" — which is actually mostly about a playground in North Wales that's really not the sort of thing Americans would accept in their towns: